19 September 2018
NZEI Te Riu Roa says teachers will welcome the return of their democratic right to elect members of the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (formerly Education Council).
The Education (Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand) Amendment Bill passed its final reading yesterday, reinstating the right of teachers to elect their representatives on their own professional body.
NZEI National Secretary Paul Goulter said teachers were angered and insulted when the previous National Government decided that the Education Minister would make all appointments to serve on the Council.
“We lobbied hard for the return of teachers' democratic rights, and we thank the Labour-led Government for listening to the profession on this issue,” he said.
Mr Goulter added that educators did not want this progress weakened by the clause allowing the Minister to issue a direction relating to specific Council functions -- arguably reducing the independence of the Council.
The Bill will, "enable the Minister to issue a direction relating to specific Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand functions." It also requires the Council to consult the Minister prior to making changes to teacher qualification requirements or registration criteria.
This is a significant new power, given the Minister also appoints the Chair.